Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition
Functional medicine is an umbrella term describing a variety of practices that utilize dietary and lifestyle changes as well as natural remedies to address chronic disease. The treatments seek to identify and treat the root cause of the disease rather than temporarily relieve symptoms.
Functional medicine asserts that nutritional deficiencies, toxicity, or disruptions in normal biological function often trigger disease in the body. Functional medicine doctors see the human body as an interconnected web and work under the premise that dysfunction can be treated by addressing how the body works holistically – rather than targeting one specific area.
While conventional medicine is effective for treating acute situations and emergencies, functional medicine is better suited for chronic illness.
The Benefits of Functional Medicine
While Americans are accustomed to traditional Western medicine and reactive treatments, functional medicine takes a proactive approach to health. There are significant benefits to treating the body as a complete, interconnected system, and these may include:
– Functional medicine practitioners establish a long-term rapport, allowing for personalized treatment plans that can evolve and adapt based on results.
– Functional medicine utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic testing technology to discover issues before symptoms manifest, allowing functional practitioners to provide treatment before a condition becomes chronic.
– Functional medicine works to proactively develop the health tools required for long-term wellness, facilitating the management of weight, energy levels, and any other health metrics that are important to you.
5 Principles of Functional Medicine
To better understand the method and decide if pursuing this treatment method is right for you, here are five basic principles to understand.
- We are all unique humans: Each of us has different genetic and biochemical makeups. Therefore healthcare should be customized to address the individual, not the disease. These techniques support the body’s natural healing mechanisms rather than directly attacking any disease.
- The practice is rooted in science: The latest scientific research proves that a complex network connects everything that happens in our bodies. Understanding the complete web of connections and relationships within our systems allows a functional medicine doctor to fix what is wrong and encourage the proper functioning of the body.
- The human body is intelligent: The body has a dynamic ability to self-regulate and balance its dynamic systems. Functional medicine helps to remove inhibitors to this process and establish an environment conducive to healing.
- Your body can heal from sickness and prevent aging-related diseases. Functional medicine gives the body the support it needs to work as it was designed to do and to avoid circumstances that lead to illness and dis-ease.
- Health is the absence of illness and disease – as well as a pervasive state of vitality. Even those who do not believe they are “sick” can benefit from this medical discipine, which can relieve symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, headaches, or other symptoms the patent has accepted as normal.
The Importance of Functional Nutrition
Functional nutrition applies the holistic approach of functional medicine to diet, addressing the patient’s food choices, activity levels, and everyday environment as it applies to the presence of chronic disease.
Standard nutritional disciplines typically focus primarily on dietary facts – whether a particular food is “good” or “bad.” Functional nutrition also considers these facts within the context of the patient’s physiological makeup and other factors, such as daily stress levels. Functional nutrition professionals understand that just because a food is considered “good for you” does not mean it benefits everyone.
Food has the potential to heal us or harm us. A functional nutrition practitioner takes a holistic approach to the body to help their patients determine the best foods to eat to achieve dynamic, vital health.
Dr. Ryan Johnson of Integrated Chiropractic offers functional nutrition counseling in addition to traditional chiropractic and innovative laser therapy services. All services are designed to help our clients reach their optimum health and vitality without drugs or surgery. Call today for more information or to visit our Sarasota offices.